Initial thoughts, this thing is goddam adorable. And I think possibly all my problems could be solved if it would just tell me it loved me. But after the momentary hysteria settled I began to question the idea at the heart of this strange commercial. The notion that a human might have an emotional connection to a machine.
With regard to jobs, we hear a lot about the idea of collaborating with robots, and that this will be the future of our workforce. But could we collaborate in the same way with a robotic mind? The camaraderie and collective motivation that exists in many workplaces seem like they might be the very ingredients that have brought about some of the greatest human creations to date. Discovery, design, art, invention… that cinematic moment we all know so well where the group bands together and achieves something incredible, and it gives you goosebumps and makes you want to become a Mighty Duck. How would this work if our co-conspirators were non-human?
And on another level.. how much would it change the very nature of the human experience if we were no longer the builders of our world? If everything was outsourced… wouldn’t there be a sense that we were no longer the designers of our space, even if the robots weren’t out of our control. Isn’t there something to humans being responsible for our own environment?
In contrast to my earlier comments, here are some of the worst things you can do with your time once you’re unemployed.
Initiate a Second Life renaissance.
Just pop out some offspring so you have something to do/talk about.
Try to beat your household robot at stuff. This will inevitably lead to decreased self esteem.
Adopt more cats than you could ever have imagined caring for. Spend all the days rolling around on the floor with them… Look it’s probably not the worst, but I’d avoid it.
Cultivate a vege patch on your window sill. NOPE.
Watch all the seasons of Jersey Shore/Geordie Shore without the subtitles so that you have to keep rewinding to work out what they’re even talking about only to realise nothing…. they were talking about nothing…
Write and produce a web series that’s just you talking to the camera about all the special things you’ve been pondering in your special, special mind.
Spend lots of time brewing tea for as long as those tea people say you should.
Stalk someone super intensely. Requires many of the conspiracy nut activities mentioned above, but in the end you’re not a misunderstood genius, you’re just a creep.
Look for a job. Are the horses looking for jobs? NO. STOP IT. SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR GRASS.
Google’s deep learning software teaches itself how to play computer games without prior knowledge of the controls, the goals or the methods of game play. You’re sure machines will never be intelligent enough to replace you? Think again.
This crazy-ass video is of the Hubo Humanoid Robot, winner of the 2015 Darpa robotics challenge. The robots are given goals. They have to then make decisions about how to best accomplish each one. It’s incredible to perceive the scope of tasks that this guy can handle, from driving a car to turning a valve to utilising a yellow power tool to slice through a wall.
The win proved a bit of a controversy because Hubo elected to push the obstacles aside instead of clambering over the rubble. It has been suggested that this action was cheating, but what’s more mind-blowing is a robotic mind having the capacity to seek out a loop hole, to bend rules in order to find the simplest solution. Ruminate on that for a second or two.
Seeing as preparedness is key, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best things you can do with your time once you’re unemployed.
Find a corporate entity that you don’t particularly like and TAKE THEM DOWN.
A friend told me a story about a mysterious panther that has been spotted off a walking trail in Wollongong. Conduct a mission to locate it. But voyage at your own peril. I will not be held responsible when the panther gouges out a section of your upper thigh.
Shoot a time-lapse in as many different cities as you can drag your jobless ass through.
Volunteer your time teaching a class in something you’re good at. Even if it’s something rather silly. Here are a few I’d sign up for in a heartbeat:
Whistling, for those that still can’t and have tried EVERYFUCKINGTHING.
Understanding Inception, a detailed workshop series explaining the science behind sci-fi films. In such a class, one should be allowed to ask as many questions as they like and never be called stupid.
Hashtagging For Beginners, #dos and #donts? #dosanddonts? #dosand #donts?
The Science Behind Beat Boxing. An in-depth study of the vocal cords allowing students an insight into how it is possible to have two voices without being possessed. Spoiler: IT’S NOT.
Devote your life to engineering a perfect scent, the greatest perfume of all time. Call it Elon. Post the formula online in the name of open sourcing.
Adopt more puppies than you could ever have imagined caring for. Spend all the days rolling around on the floor with them.
Perform some extensive research into Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch’s family history. Lady needs a recipe.
Dig deep into your dark, dark soul and ignite a spark of altruism. Volunteer some time aiding the less fortunate.
Wolfpack it… Gather your pals, learn the lines to your favourite films and recreate them. If completed with the necessary attention to detail, this can take decades.
Rush small children on the street and preach to them about the technologies of old. Carry a printed newspaper just so you can fling it at them while making your point. Be sure to collect said newspaper after flinging. Lord knows if you’ll ever find another.
Study something, just for the heck of it.
Become a conspiracy nut. You’ll get to put together one of those “mad-guy” pin boards with scratchy lines of red marker that connect important clues and take shaky hand-held video footage outside the gates of government facilities. Dammit thats a good one.
Steve Hughes is not only a classy, classy man but also an economic trailblazer.. read on as I prove it with a level of finesse only previously achieved by Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina. There is no need to follow that link it is completely irrelevant.
I touched briefly on the idea of allocating a universal basic income. This seems to be the only viable solution if we’re all pushed out of the workforce. It also sounds like a really good bloody time. There is enough wealth to go around, we know this. It’s just about distributing it in sensible ways. And having a little faith in ourselves to live meaningful lives even if we don’t have a 9 to 5 from which to gage our entire identity. You are more than your LinkedIn profile. I believe in you. Drum circle on the beach, WHO IS IN?
In case you’re too lazy to click the link I am copying in one of the author’s more pertinent insights because I’m just such a sweetheart.
“By redirecting that money pooling at the top doing comparatively very little, accumulating in ever increasing amounts through continual redistribution upwards from the bottom and the middle of the income spectrum, and recirculating that clotted money back down to the bottom and middle, this would actually expand the entire economy while making it more sustainable and more inclusive. This is how the body works. This is how engines work. This is how systems work.”
The first to be hit; everyone that moves goods/people…
“The transport industry in the US employs about 3 million people, extrapolating world wide thats about 70 million jobs at a a minimum.” These jobs are already all but done for because autos are ALREADY BETTER DRIVERS THAN US. By all accounts they don’t feel the need to just-really-quickly-check if they received any Instagram likes while at the wheel. And probably won’t insist on opening the windows so everyone else can enjoy their Techno Jams of Summer playlist. This may be beside the point.
While it may be further away, it is also significant to note that your pearly white collar will not protect you from the bots for long.
“The cutting edge of programming isn’t super smart programmers writing bots, its super smart programmers writing bots that teach themselves to do things the programmers could never teach them to do.” This notion is exactly what governs the principles of the predicted intelligence explosion which will foreshadow the singularity. And it is exactly why we are all struggling to imagine that the clunky robots and machines we see now will soon learn and imagine and create in ways we never could. Once this shit hits it’s going to snowball rapid-fire. The current system CANNOT EXIST under these conditions.
Watch this film, it actually is going to fry your brain.
Have a read of this article published by the ABC last year concerning these issues.
“Just like the original industrial revolution, this is creating large numbers of losers whose skills are no longer valued by the market. But this time it is not clear that new jobs will appear for these people to move into, for this time the machines can follow us nearly anywhere we try to go. This time technological unemployment may become a permanent fact that we have to deal with by changing how capitalism works. Our birthright as humans – the ability to produce things by our labour that others find valuable – may become economically worthless.”